Letter: Lottery Board back in business

By Murray Smith

In 2002/03, over $1.2 billion from the Alberta Lottery Fund will be allocated to community, not-for-profit, and priority public and community-based initiatives throughout the province.

A portion of Alberta Lottery Fund revenues are distributed through foundations and granting programs, one of which was the Community Lottery Board (CLB) Program. The decision to discontinue the CLB Program was a tough one, but was made as part of the effort to ensure that government remains fiscally responsible. Lottery fund revenues are being reallocated to ensure that Alberta’s priorities–such as health, education, children’s services and debt repayment-are funded appropriately.

Thousands of initiatives throughout the province will continue to be supported annually through other lottery funded grant programs and initiatives.

The Community Facility Enhan-cement Program (CFEP) will be renewed for an additional three years, with funding for 2002/03 set at $25 million. In 2003/04, that funding is expected to increase by about $14 million.

An additional $56 million will continue to be distributed through the Wild Rose Foundation; the Alberta Foundation for the Arts; the Alberta Historical Resources Foundation; the Human Rights, Citizenship and Multiculturalism Education Fund; and the Alberta Sport, Recreation, Parks and Wildlife Foundation. Administered through Alberta Community Development, funding to these foundations will increase by about $9 million in 2003/04.

Government has also committed to review the granting guidelines of the existing lottery funded programs and foundations to see how groups affected by the elimination of the CLB Program might be accommodated.

Thousands of charitable groups will also earn more than $180 million from charitable gaming activities such as bingos, casinos, raffles, and pull tickets. Information regarding the licensing process for these events is available on the Gaming Web site at www.gaming.gov.ab.ca.

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